Arsène Wenger has rejected the possibility of Thierry Henry returning to Arsenal for a second loan spell as he criticised his players for a lack of desire and mental sharpness in the 1-1 draw at Southampton.
The Arsenal manager had said that he was considering whether to re-sign Henry from the New York Red Bulls and the striker has been training at the club where he made his name as the record goalscorer. But the signs in recent days had been that another emotional return was unlikely.
Henry had taken a holiday and returned well short of match fitness and, with the window of opportunity short before the restart of Major League Soccer in March, it had seemed as though Arsenal would have to complete the deal at the very beginning of January. They did not do so and Wenger said that the matter was now closed. “I think Thierry goes away somewhere,” he said. “He is not ready. He has just come back from holiday so at the moment we are not on that case.”